Exchange on Disappearance and Extinction
With Anthony D. Barnosky and Cymene Howe and the artists Giulia Bruno and Armin Linke
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The extinction of species and the melting of ice are two processes that are not just challenging to grasp in their quantitative magnitude at planetary scale – they are also hard to determine. Yet their quick pace nevertheless places them in the context of unprecedented environmental change and also makes these processes tangible within the tiny temporal brackets of human lives. As scientific evidence on extinction rates becomes increasingly refined, the realities of species loss and the disappearance of glaciers and entire ecosystems will also come to feed people’s biographical and intergenerational memory. How might we mediate these forms of knowledge, and what cultural concepts are implied in the scientific language used to label these dynamics?